The recipe blitz will resume tomorrow but I had to share this deal:
I’ve been a bit leery of sites like Groupon and Living Social for a while now but I know too many people who trust them completely. So, when I saw a deal on Money Saving Mom for two movie tickets for $9 as an offer from Living Social, I knew it was time to try it out.
The deal is this: login or sign up for a Living Social account. You can use this link to access the deal (apparently it’s an online offer only) you buy a voucher for two tickets for $9 from Fandango (before you even sign up, check Fandago first to see if it’s available in your area. I can use it by my house and my parents’ house, but not my in-laws’). I’ve used Fandango in the past and it’s awesome, especially for those must-see movies. After you purchase the deal, you’ll get an email with the promo code number which you can use to buy your movie tickets online only; you can’t use the promo at the theater’s box office. It’s a limit of one purchase per customer, and both tickets must be used for the same movie/time. The voucher expires September 9, 2011.
With so many movies coming out this summer that we want to see, this will definitely come in handy!
Full disclosure: If three of you buy the deal, I get my tickets for free. Please do not feel any pressure to purchase the tickets because of the incentive. I just think that $9 for two tickets is an amazing deal that I bought before I knew about the referral incentive, especially when you consider the $22 we paid for 2 tickets. For a matinee. Absurd.
I think YouTube rocks. Because amidst all the Lady Gaga, cute kitten videos, celebrity interviews, and people doing some of the oddest things imaginable, you can find gems like these. If you only have time to watch one, go for the third one. The song is worth enduring the witty banter (this makes me wish there was a sarcasm font):
It was hard to pick among all the videos that I’ve loved and lost. But these 5 highlight my eclectic taste and my longing for the days MTV actually played music.
What your favorite hidden gem on YouTube?
Are you sick of Charlie Sheen? I am.
I used to like the guy. Major League is one of my all time favorite movies. But now…well, now I just think he’s an overexposed loon. I wish that every news outlet would stop putting him on the front page. Every. Single. Day. The coverage is what is stoking his lunatic fire. If we stop caring, then maybe he’ll go away and actually focusing on recovering. I’m not sure how soon that’ll happen because crazy sells. And right now, he is Captain Crazy.
Fortunately for me, I’m good at spreading my
hatred annoyance around. And there are also plenty of other topics/people/items I’m tired of besides Charlie Sheen:
- Remaking/revamping everything good. Not to be limited to movies (yes Footloose, I’m talking to you), the abundance of bringing back toys, cartoons, TV shows, etc from the past has my panties in a bunch. It’s as if all of the good ideas were exhausted circa 1990 and ever since, we’ve just been served the same recycled stuff. Recycling is good for the environment but it’s not so good in entertainment. If Hotdoggers and Skidz make a comeback, I’m retreating to a cave.
Nothing says elegance and class like a pair of Skidz. Except maybe Hammer Pants.
- Turning every great book into a movie. This is a subset of #1. Ultimately, the movies is going to ruin the book. That’s just a given. There are a host of great books I’ve read that are movies. I refuse to see those movies. I learned my lesson after The General’s Daughter, Sleepers and The Virgin Suicides (just to name a few disappointments). Using the law of opposites, shouldn’t the bad books be made into good movies? Having said that, I will be seeing The Art of Racing in the Rain when it comes out. I don’t care that Patrick Dempsey is the main character (this is most likely due to the fact that I don’t view him as some good-looking doctor. I view him as the guy performing the African Anteater Ritual in Can’t Buy Me Love). See for yourself:
- Nirvana. Not the religious tenet, the band. Don’t misunderstand me. I get it. I was a teenager when grunge was popular. Nirvana was influential and changed music, blah blah blah. But radio stations fail to realize that Nirvana recorded more than 4 songs (really! It’s true! Lithium, Rape Me, Smells Like Teen Spirit and their cover of Man Who Sold the World are not the only songs they recorded. I promise!) . And I really don’t want to hear those songs any more. Ever. This is not just limited to Nirvana. You can also substitute Guns N’ Roses (before Axl went batty), U2, Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones.
- New Jersey. I’m not necessarily sick of the whole state.The state itself is actually quite useful as it links the state I currently live in to my home state. I am, however, opposed to the obnoxious, overexposed reality stars that are coming out of New Jersey at an alarming rate. If I were from New Jersey, I would be pissed that when people think of my home state, they now think of Snooki, JWoww or one of the girls from Jerseylicious rather than Samuel Alito, Bruce Springsteen, Kevin Smith or the scores of others who are from New Jersey. Also, what’s the deal with the jughandles? Those things are a pain.
- Sarah Palin. Why is this woman still relevant? How can we get her to stop speaking? Is it even possible?
That’s just a few of the things that I’m tired of. There’s a whole list more (just ask anyone who knows me. I can seriously go on for hours about this stuff, especially when I get going on a topic I’m really passionate about like the Mommy Wars). But mainly, I just have one question–why does Lady Gaga call her fans “Little Monsters”?
Since today is the Oscars, I thought I’d pay tribute with a little quiz. It’s simple really–I’ve posted 15 quotes about food from different movies. Post your response in the comments section and the person who gets the most right will receive a $10 gift card to Target! The giveaway closes at midnight on Wednesday, 3/2/11.
- “If you could have one food for the rest of your life, what would it be? That’s easy. Pez. Cherry flavored pez.”
- “It’s got gray icing. I can’t even begin to imagine how you make gray icing.”
- “I bet the Chinese food here is terrible.”
- “If I don’t get a pancakewich, I will have you both arrested for kidnapping and conspiracy.”
- “Tigers love pepper. They hate cinnamon.”
- “It has raisins in it. You like raisins.”
- “A jelly donut?!”
- “Food fight!!!”
- “Yogurt? I hate yogurt! Even with strawberries.”
- “This is definitely the food prison riots are made of.”
- “What do you mean, you don’t eat no meat? That’s ok. I’ll make lamb.”
- “Do you like apples? Well, I got her number. How do you like them apples?”
- “Hey honey, go back and tell the chef this is low-grade dog food.”
- “…pb&j with the crusts cut off. Well, Brian, this is a very nutritious lunch. All the food groups are represented. Did your mom marry Mr. Rogers? Uh, no…Mr. Johnson.”
- “The tension in the air was so thick you could cut it with a knife. Which is more than I can say for the liver.”
That’s it. Good luck!
Administrative note: I’ll post the answers on Thursday, after the giveaway closes. In the event of a tie, all names will be thrown into a hat and the winner will be chosen at random. There will only be one winner for this particular giveaway.
Today I’m starting a new feature at The Empty Kitchen. As one of my readers pointed out a few weeks ago, the kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s not only where we share meals but it’s where we can sit around and talk about anything. This new feature, Kitchen Table Talk, is where I will talk about anything that’s on my mind, whether it’s food related, family related, current events related or just plain random.
Everyone has something different that motivates her or speaks to her or gets her through a hard or sad or difficult time. For some, it’s the Bible or another type of book. For others, it’s inspirational sayings or quotes. For me, it’s song lyrics.
There is nothing that speaks to my emotions and feelings more than song lyrics. I relate so many moments in my life to different songs, and I associate almost every phase of my life to music. It’s as if my life has a soundtrack that no one else knows about; it’s my little personal secret. But I’m going to share one of those secrets with you.
This Friday is my last day at my current job. This is very welcomed and long overdue (more overdue than I care to admit). It took me quite awhile to get to the point where I even considered looking for a new job. I would talk to friends and family about making a change but I couldn’t quite bring myself to do it. Then, about 3 months ago, while driving to pick up my daughter from daycare, I heard the song “Maybe” by Sick Puppies on the radio. More than any other song I’d heard in a long, long time, this song spoke to me on levels that I cannot even begin to describe. It was as if everything I had been thinking and feeling was all rolled into one amazing song. And, as cheesy as it may sound, it inspired me to finally make the decision to move on from the toxic environment where I was spending 40 hours a week.
What’s even more incredible is that, when you listen to the lyrics the first few times, it sounds like a song about a breakup. But when I watched the video, I knew that this song was sent to me to change my life:
What inspires you?
I have disclosed several secrets about myself on this blog. First, I confessed how I cheat in the kitchen. Then I confessed that I don’t drink coffee. I have yet another confession to make. Here it is: I still watch Saturday Night Live. I usually can’t make it past Weekend Update, and what I do watch makes me long for the days of Wayne’s World. But, occasionally, there actually is a funny skit. This is one of them:
Occasionally I will post something that is nonfood related. Today is one of those times. I’m sharing it mainly because there’s no way I could keep this to myself (warning: if you cannot tolerate the images, just minimize the screen and listen to the song. I promise it’ll be worth it):
A hair band parody band with actually talented musicians covering a Backstreet Boys song. There. Are. No. Words.
TEK administrative note: Avocado Thursday will return next week.
Now that I am a mom, I have resigned myself to certain facts:
- I will never again be able to carry a small purse.
- I will never again be able to get a good night’s sleep.
- My house is not actually my house. It is the residence that I pay for and where my daughter allows me to live.
- People don’t actually want to see me. When they say “I can’t wait to see you” it really means “I can’t wait to see your daughter. You can come along if you need to”.
- I have lost complete and utter control of my radio and television.
Number 5 is the one that really gets to me. I’m very, um, particular about what I watch and listen to. Needless to say, when my boss my daughter is around, I get absolutely no choice (well, I do get a choice. I get to choose between a)giving in and having my ears assaulted or b) dealing with a tantrum. I tend to go with option a). It’s gotten to the point where I tell her that The Wiggles are on vacation or Barney is taking a nap or Dora is at school because if I have to listen to and/or watch them one more time, my sanity will completely evaporate and my sanity is pretty much on life support at this point. Which is why I’m ecstatic that my daughter is now totally and completely obsessed with the Fresh Beat Band.
The Fresh Beat Band is a live-action musical sitcom for preschoolers; sort of like the Monkees but for 4 year olds and with better hair. I have found that the Fresh Beat Band is vastly superior to most kids’ shows for the following reasons:
- They are not bossy cartoons (yes, Dora, I’m talking to you)
- They are not people dressed up in animal costumes
- They are only on once a day
- The songs are catchy yet not whiny and it is a fine line between the two
- Twist is kinda cute
Since my daughter likes this show, and I can tolerate it, I checked out their website on www.nickjr.com to see if I could find a CD or videos online for her to watch. I was amazed to see that there was actually a recipes section (you were probably wondering how all of this relates to food)! And, unlike most kids’ foods, these recipes are actually grown-up friendly, too! My personal favorite is the Mango-Banana Groovy Smoothie. It’s a great recipe to make with your kids, has a lot of fruit and is super easy to make, especially if you use the frozen fruit (no cutting). Plus, the combination of mango, banana and pineapple is delicious and a great summer treat.
Mango-Banana Groovy Smoothie (from www.nickjr.com/recipes):
- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen pineapple chunks
- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen mango chunks
- 1 medium banana, sliced thin
- 1/2 cup apple cider
- 1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt
- Add fruit, juice and yogurt to blender.
- Blend on low, stopping to stir if necessary, until smooth.
- Increase to high speed for a few seconds.
- Serve in glasses.
I have spent a great deal of time lately watching the movie “I Love You Man”. I love this movie. It’s as if Jason Segel and Rush were put through a blender of awesomeness and, for extra awesomeness, topped with Paul Rudd and garnished with a few others to create an addictive, hilarious and quotable movie that gets funnier every time I see it. The more I watch it, though, the more I realize just how much time they spend eating.
It’s true. They eat. A lot. I think they’re eating in about 70% of the movie. And they eat a wide variety of foods, too, ranging from panninis to Chinese food to fish tacos to a 6 foot sub to an upscale steak dinner to frozen pineapple treats. It’s a good thing I don’t eat meat or I’d be starving by the time the movie ended. Obviously this gets me thinking about how I can recreate some of these recipes on my own because they look that damn good. Since I’m not creative enough to come up with truly original recipes, I’ll have to steal borrow some to make for my family and to share, of course.
Then I got to thinking…I could probably do a whole series of posts related to the food consumed in “I Love You Man”. However, I fear that a series of that nature would be entertaining only to me. So I’ve decided to narrow it down to two recipes in honor of my two favorite scenes in the movie.
The recipes I’ve chosen, although not necessarily the most economical, are fairly easy to prepare and are definitely something different to bring to a party or potluck. The first recipe, for sun-dried tomato aïoli, made me do a little research to find out exactly what aïoli is (it’s a garlic based mayonnaise). The second recipe, which also had me doing some research, is for a drink rather than food just to shake things up a bit (get it…shake things up?).
Here they are:
Sun-dried Tomato Aïoli (from Southern Living)
1 1/2 cups light mayonnaise
1/3 cup firmly packed sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
1/4 cup milk
1 garlic clove
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Garnish: fresh rosemary sprig (optional)
- Process all ingredients in a food processor 15 seconds or until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as needed.
- Cover and chill until ready to serve.
- Store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 1 week. Garnish, if desired.
- Serve with vegetables and chips.
LimeLight Cocktail (from allcocktails.com)
- 2 oz Vodka
- 1 oz Melon Liqueur
- 1 splash Grapefruit Juice
- Stir well with ice cubes and strain into a cocktail glass.
And just in case you are unfamiliar with Rush, here’s a video of my favorite Rush song, Dreamline:
As I was sitting at work today, dreaming of 4:00 PM, my mind started to wander towards thoughts of happy hours past. From there, my mind drifted to drinking songs. Then my mind wandered into the abyss of songs that actually are about drinks.
At first, I was a bit put off by how many songs about drinks I was able to recall. Then I started to embrace this fact. I realized that not only does it make me useful for games like Trivial Pursuit (if there’s ever a food & drink version) but it can make me really fun at parties!
You may be asking yourself, “I’m having a party! What songs is she talking about? I want to add them to my playlist!” Well, you’re in luck! Since I love to share, here they are:
- Escape (The Piña Colada Song)–Rupert Holmes
- Gin and Juice–Snoop Dog
- Margaritaville–Jimmy Buffet
- Mas Tequila–Sammy Hagar
- Two Piña Coladas–Garth Brooks
- Milkshake–Kelis (OK, so this one’s not actually about a milkshake but it’s still named for a drink so it counts.)
- Alcohol–Barenaked Ladies
- Captain Jack–Billy Joel
- Champagne–Sugarcult (A song about a drink by a band with a food name. It’s a two-fer!)
- Hooch–Everything (Like Milkshake, it’s not actually about hooch but I couldn’t leave out a tribute to moonshine.)
- Red Red Wine–UB40 or Neil Diamond
- One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer–George Thoroughgood
- Black Coffee In Bed–Squeeze
And while they are not specifically about drinks, I cannot leave out George Thoroughgood’s I Drink Alone, Garth Brooks’ Friends In Low Places and Alan Jackson’s It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere. They are too important to the world of drink (and drinking) songs!
Those are the ones that I was able to remember (and I’m still undecided if I should be alarmed by the fact that most of them are about alcohol). What songs would you add to the list? Please feel free to share!